YouTube is the second most popular website on earth, behind its parent company, Google. As a social media platform, it is the second most popular social media network behind the almighty Facebook. Hence, the importance of YouTube SEO. While it might seem to come in second place frequently, the massive numbers it pulls more than make up for its position, as there are more than 2.6 billion users on YouTube.
To put this in perspective, 81% of people with access to the internet use YouTube. These numbers are impressive as YouTube has become a global powerhouse, and notwithstanding what you are doing on YouTube, marketing, sales, for fun, etc., there is the opportunity to get your content in front of many people.
How can you do this effectively? SEO, but not just the typical SEO, but SEO for YouTube. What exactly is SEO? And how can you use it to your advantage on YouTube?
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to the things done to a website and its content to make them rank on Google’s SERP (search engine result page). In other words, appear on the first or second page of Google, often beneath ads on the first page, depending on your query.
The various things involved in making a site rank are constantly changing, and SEO strategists are continually looking for ways to keep their content ranking well. YouTube SEO entails tweaking your channel, playlists, metadata, descriptions, and videos to improve their visibility, as opposed to Google SEO, which considers backlinks and other factors to determine rank. Your videos can be optimized for search not only on YouTube but also on other sites.
How to Improve Your YouTube SEO?
1. Create your videos to solve a problem
YouTube SEO shares something in common with Google SEO. You need to create content, in this case, videos that solve someone’s problem and address a need. This need might be to entertain, educate, or inspire. As long as you meet a particular need, your video will be better ranked on YouTube. For example, when people search for a specific thing like “How to play a free kick in PES” videos that rank for this query are videos that teach how to do what is being searched for, not just random videos. You can use a YouTube SEO tool to find more video ideas, generate tags, optimize titles and descriptions, etc.
2. Pick Relevant Keywords and Optimize Your Video Titles
When you have chosen a problem to solve, begin to look for relevant keywords in your niche or area. Do keyword research to find the keywords relevant to your niche. Use YouTube’s auto-suggest feature to find keyword variations with high search volume and low competition.
Once you have gotten relevant keywords, depending on the focus of your video, naturally include your keyword in your video title. Once you understand your audience and why they watch your videos, you can better tailor your titles to appeal to them. It is important to put in the relevant keywords to improve YouTube SEO for your video, as your title appeals both to the algorithm and the viewers.
3. Include the Keyword in the Video File Name
Video uploads with the target keyword included in the file name have a much higher chance of being indexed by search engines and receiving more views as a result. The filename appears when you upload a new video. Make sure your file name is updated before you upload it because YouTube will use this to determine whether the video is pertinent. This straightforward approach helps to optimize your YouTube videos.
4. Create Time Stamps
A YouTube time stamp is a way to link directly to specific parts of your video. They are very helpful for YouTube SEO as they help to retain traffic on your video. The bounce rate on videos that aren’t interesting is relatively high. But when a viewer knows there are specific parts of your video that solve their problem, they can go to those areas. They can then watch and increase the amount of time they spend on your video.
Time stamps enhance the viewing experience and work as a video SEO hack because both Google and YouTube reward their use. YouTube counts the time a user clicks on your time-stamp as two separate views: the first is for the video itself, and the second is for the time-stamped portion of the video. This fantastic opportunity will help your video rise in the search rankings eventually.
5. Optimize Your Video Description
The video description is essential as it is one of the places where you can use keywords that the algorithm will be able to notice. To maximize your video’s visibility, YouTube suggests including your target keywords in the first few lines of the description and capping the total word count at 200. Just generally, try to make your description helpful. Remove it if it doesn’t add value for the user.
6. Create High-quality and Sometimes Lengthy Videos
While strategizing and ensuring you can check all the YouTube SEO boxes, make sure you do an excellent job with your videos. While you might not have the studio set of Mr. Beast, that should not prevent you from creating quality videos within your space and budget. Screen recording software might be useful if you’re creating videos with the on-screen action, or you can use a high-quality camera if your video is more action-based.
While short videos are easy to watch, they don’t hold attention for too long. Your video should be long enough to convey the message but also short enough for proper YouTube SEO and, most importantly, to keep your viewers engaged.
7. Use Attractive and Compelling Thumbnails
There are many ways how to improve your YouTube video views and thumbnails are one of the most vital things to increase your YouTube CTR. The more generic your thumbnails, the less likely it is to click on your video; the more attractive your thumbnail, the more likely you will have it clicked on. Make sure not to use random moments within your video. If necessary, design a separate catchy thumbnail for your video.
8. Use the Proper Hashtags
Proper hashtags can be a powerful tool to get more views on YouTube and help boost your video’s SEO. The first is by channeling traffic from other videos that share the same hashtags. The second means is through the regular YouTube search option, as many people search for videos on YouTube using hashtags. Finally, hashtags can help the YouTube algorithm better understand your videos and place them in certain categories. Using specific hashtags in a particular area increases the possibility of ranking within that niche.
There are more tips on how to use YouTube SEO for beginners that will help you get better results, but these are enough to get you started and on your way to getting more views. Make sure you have high-quality videos, or these tips will not retain viewers on your channel. Make sure to conduct your research when making a video, and ensure that your videos are not just raves of the moment but videos you can look back at and be proud of.